creating a nap and bedtime routine

Laura - posted on 02/07/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Greetings, I have a 9 month old little boy, I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a nap routine down. He is good to cosleep, and fall asleep quickly in the car, or in my arms after nursing. I have tried to let him cry it out in his crib, and everytime I have gone in and picked him up after an hour, and he has a poopie diaper.



Last week I checked in on him after 20 minutes, and he had a poopie diaper, and so I changed him, and then we napped together. So I think when i put him down in his crib, he cries because of his poopie diaper as well as he doesn't want to miss out on the "fun". But he seems to choose that time to poop.



I have exclusively breastfed since he was less than 2 months old, which I haven't minded for the most part, but lately I've gotten a little run down, as he is super active. My husband's birthday is next month, and I really would like to get the nap/ bedtime thing down once in a while so that we can get away for the night. I thought the naps would be the first step to having him sleep in his crib a couple of nights a week, for us to have adult-time.



I haven't been consistent, as we usually run errands when I need to get out, and so there hasn't been a week that I have consistently attempted the naptim routine, but that is how I prefer it, to not be too rigid with a routine, as I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants individual. Is there a way to establish a routine when we are home? I have had several books recommended to me, anyone know one that works for the more flexible type? As well as, it seems everyone says not to go in and check on him and assure him it's time for a nap, what are your thoughts on that?

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My sisters would start out naptime laying down with their kids. Once the little ones were asleep they would get up and do chores. For my son I let him fall asleep in my arms then put him in his bed. If he wakes up, I wait about 5 minutes to see if he'll fall back to sleep. He's only 7 weeks though.



My daughter still does the poop at naptime too. I go in change her and back to bed she goes. Even now at 2.



Belinda has some good points, you need to be more consistant. Choose one way of doing things and keep to it. It will take tme for him to adjust, but he will.

Belinda - posted on 02/07/2012

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Please believe that what I am about to say is not intended to be mean but to give you an idea of how your child is experiencing this. Firstly, it is really hard to create a routine that is not something that happens every day at around about the same time. That is not a routine, it is just creating confusion for your child for example, Most days he can nap with you but on certain days (out of the blue) he is expected to nap in a crib , alone, without comfort or anything that he is used to. Most days you put him to sleep by rocking him, he is lulled to sleep in the car or you breastfeed him and then 1 day out of the blue he has to put himself to sleep.



Putting oneself to sleep is a learned skill, it is not something that babies automatically know how to do. Especially when it is done for them multiple times a day.



You can start getting him used to sleeping in his crib with napping - that is a good idea! Especially if he has spent some fun time getting used to his room (if the crib is in his own room) but do not expect him to put himself to sleep without help.



If you want to work on putting himself to sleep then work on this at night at bedtime, as this is the easiest time to fall asleep. You can continue to co-sleep at the same time, but he will learn the important skill of putting himself to sleep. There are many techniques used to accomplish this, I recommend "Good Night Sleep Tight" by Kim West.The techniques she uses are not CIO. I do believe that you need some sort of a schedule for your son. You may be fly by the seat of your pants but your son may not be. I do not think there is a book out there that can help you to create a routine without having a routine- if that makes sense.

Janice - posted on 02/08/2012

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Your Welcome Laura! I hope you get something working. I know creating a routine has been great for my daughter. Now at 27 months she knows nap time is always immediately after lunch. She willingly goes to her bed and falls asleep with out my help - although some days she does play in bed for up to 45 min before sleeping. My friends who didnt implement a nap schedule now have toddlers who often refuse to nap. Mommas need down time! ;)

Good luck!

Belinda - posted on 02/08/2012

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Whatever you choose Laura, be sure to do the same thing, the same way for at least 2 weeks :). Of course you can increase the time between comforting (if needed)..

Janice - posted on 02/08/2012

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I was much like you. My DD didnt have any routine until she was around 10 months but she would sleep after nursing and in the car.

First in order to establish a routine, it will have to rigid at first. Once it is established then on days it is not exact it wont be a biggie. Most babies under 12mo. take 2 naps. Look at when your son sleeps and eats now and see if you can find a pattern. Then create a schedule based on that and stick to it.



Letting your son cry for a long time is really not best at his age. I would start going in to comfort him every 10 min. If he has pooped change him and put him back to bed. Even though we co-slept at night, for my daughter's naps she went in her crib. I nursed her till she was almost asleep and then put her in the crib. If she started crying I would rub her back and hum till she fell asleep. At 9 months your son who isn't used to sleeping alone may feel abandoned by being left. You need to help him until he gets better at doing it himself. I never took her out of her crib so my daughter still learned it was nap but I also stayed with her when she needed me. Once we established a routine she knew what to expect and just went to sleep with out my help.



Good luck!

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Alisha - posted on 02/08/2012

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Well if he's not already, you should put him to sleep in his crib. If he wakes up to nurse in the night then nurse and put him in his co-sleeper or crib but you should start him out in his crib. At this age, if he is used to your bed or the co-sleeper he will cry. If you let him cry for an hour or so he will eventually get tired and sleep (as long as he's fed/changed/etc). I did this with my daughter at that age and it only took 3 nights in a row where she cried for an hour and then knew I wouldn't come get her and she learned to sleep in her crib so I could have my own bed back! Don't let people talk you into things you are not comfortable with though but as painful as it is to listen to your baby cry, I have heard this method work for several other moms.

Laura - posted on 02/08/2012

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Thanks, Belinda, it's helpful to know of a timeline, I knew having kids would mean consistency, it's good tho to know approximately what will work.

Carrie - posted on 02/08/2012

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I don't co sleep and It's not something I have ever planned to do with my kids because my friends have a nightmare of getting their 7 year olds out of their bed. So I can't help with the co sleeping part but what I can say is that consistancy is KEY. I have a 5 yr old who is in school 2 hours a day. We are all up by 10 am. We get breakfast, get dressed and ready for school I dress my son for the day as well. then we eat lunch then We drop my daughter at school come home and I change his diaper and put him down for his nap. Rarely do I change his routine. If I need to run an errand I do this while on the school route usually on the way home and then he still goes to his crib after we get home. Consistancy is key after all that's exactly what routine is the same things at about the same time/same way every day.

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